Since its introduction a few weeks ago during the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept managed to shoulder itself plenty of exposure and attention in between reveals such as the 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350, 2016 Cadillac ATS-V, new Jaguar F-Type variants and more. We like to think that the 2015 Colorado ZR2 Concept grabbed everybody’s attention because it’s a very production-worthy vehicle, and if it were us calling the shots, we would have officially green-lit a while ago. Particularly because of the reasons below.
The Improved Ground Clearance And Wider Stance
One of the elements that help define the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept as an off-road-oriented pickup is the way it presents itself. This is thanks to the 275/65R18 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires, wrapping around 18-inch aluminum bead-lock wheels. Yes, the bead-locks and Duratacs make for a tantalizing combination, yet 2015 Colorado engineers inform us that none of this equipment has been validated as of yet. At least officially.
The Better Approach And Departure Angles
Anybody who has ever taken their conventional truck or SUV off road only to have their front bumper ripped off from not having enough clearance up front can whole-heatedly appreciate and understand why the front and rear fascias of the Colorado ZR2 Concept are shaped the way they are. Sure, some practicality is lost out back from the elimination of the Corner Step bumper, but it’s not the end of the world, and the trade-off is far more important where it counts.
The Visible, Accessible King Off-Road Shocks
King is one of the better off-road racing shock companies out there. They’re not exactly cheap… a set of four could run around $2,500 without installation depending on where you look, but the name represents quality. Adding to the visual flare of being able to see the fluid reservoirs and access them without much effort should something go awry are two nice bonuses, as well.
The 2.8L Duramax
At a preliminary estimation of 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm and 369 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm, all of that low-end torque makes the 2.8L Duramax in the 2015 Colorado ZR2 the ideal engine for slow-tempo rock crawling through the likes of Moab or a favorite Appalachian Mountain trail. To that end, the 2015 Colorado ZR2 isn’t entirely a Ford F-150 Raptor fighter, but Chevrolet isn’t really pretending that it is. More rock-crawler than trophy truck, if you will. Will we ever see a mirror rival to the Raptor? Perhaps if there’s enough initial enthusiasm for the ZR2 to get built, we just might see something after it.
The Awesome Paint
It’s called Cyprus Green, and it’s not yet a production color. But it should be. Tied in with orange accents, the color echoes what we saw with the Chevrolet Silverado High Desert Concept not long ago at this year’s SEMA show, and looks fantastic in person. Tactical, in a way.
The Well-Placed Full Spare
When asked why designers didn’t mount the full-sized spare tire and wheel to the liftgate and just behind the rear cabin window, the simple reply was: “weight distribution and keeping overall length to a minimum.” Clever.
The Integrated Hi-Lift Jack
It would have been silly if Chevrolet equipped the 2015 Colorado ZR2 Concept with the full spare and no jack. It’s packaging is also innovative, integrating itself onto a GearOn bed rail, just behind (in front?) of the full-spare that’s locked into place. You may have missed it at first glance.
The Toggle Switches
For inevitably adding on things like auxiliary lights, and whatever else can be imagined (rocket boosters?), the blank accessory switches allow the driver to activate them without the need for additional button/switch installation. Just plug and play. We like the simplicity.
The Integrated Winch
Nestled within the front bumper is a fully functional winch to help get the 2015 Colorado ZR2 out of a sticky situation, should an afternoon at the mud bog come to an abrupt and literal halt. Or for when scaling a slippery mountain trail in the rain. Whichever.
Nobody wants to clean Mother Nature out of carpet. ‘Nuff said.